E1917. Pursuing a Career in Radiology: A Current Longitudinal Survey on Motivations and Controversial Issues
  1. Easton Neitzel; University of Arizona College of Medicine
  2. Eric vanSonnenberg; University of Arizona College of Medicine
  3. Kelly Lynch; University of Arizona College of Medicine
  4. Lisa Shah-Patel; University of Arizona College of Medicine
  5. Mark Mamlouk; The Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center; University of California - San Francisco
  6. Chase Irwin; University of Arizona College of Medicine
Radiology continues to be attractive for medical students to pursue as a career, with Diagnostic and Interventional residency programs becoming increasingly competitive. Nonetheless, various current factors influence students' decision to pursue Radiology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), COVID-19, remote reading, and the inception of the interventional radiology (IR) residency. This study seeks to evaluate the motivations of medical students longitudinally, from one institution's entire historic roster of medical students who have pursued radiology residencies.

Materials and Methods:
An anonymous survey was distributed to alumni (classes 2008 - 2022) from our medical school who matched into a Diagnostic or Interventional Radiology residency program (n = 57). 43/57 responses were received (75% response rate). The characteristics and decision-making factors in deciding to pursue Radiology were queried, as well as opinions on controversial topics currently affecting Radiology.

The three most influential factors that sparked respondents’ interest in radiology were a radiology elective (25/43, 58%), seeing radiology’s impact on patient care in non-radiology rotations (23/43, 53%), and a mentor (20/43, 47%). Students who will finish radiology training in 2023-2028 were significantly more likely to be influenced by a mentor (15/26, 58%) than those who finished training in 2012-2022 (5/21, 24%) (p = 0.04). The four most influential factors for respondents deciding to pursue radiology were interest in imaging, the intellectual component of radiology, lifestyle/financial opportunities, and compatibility with their personality, interests, and skills (23/43 each, 53%). Work hours were rated the most influential quality of life factor (3.6/5 on a Likert scale), followed by salary (3.3/5), and amount of call (3.1/5). Respondents reported a 1.6/5 concern about AI negatively impacting their future career in radiology upon graduation from medical school. Radiologists who will finish radiology training in 2023-2028 were significantly more likely to have a greater concern of AI upon graduation (1.9/5) than those who finished radiology training in 2012-2022 (1.4/5) (p = 0.01). Respondents indicated a 1.7/5 concern about performing IR procedures on patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote reading was predicted to have a 3.2/5 positive impact on helping respondents achieve their preferred lifestyle.

Radiology electives and seeing radiology’s impact on patient care during non-radiology rotations had the greatest influence in piquing students’ interest in radiology, while mentorship is becoming an increasingly important factor. Recently-trained and aspiring radiologists perceive AI as a growing, but relatively minimal, threat to negatively impact their job. Our dataset is limited by a relatively small sample size from a single institution. However, the study provides insight into the most attractive factors to currently practicing and future radiologists from our medical school, and their opinions of emerging topics that will have an impact on radiology.